We report the emergence of a novel lineage of SARS-CoV-2 in South America, termed C.37. It presents seven nonsynonymous mutations in the Spike gene (Δ247-253, G75V, T76I, L452Q, F490S, T859N) and a deletion in the ORF1a gene (Δ3675-3677) also found in variants of concern (VOCs) Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Initially reported in Lima, Peru, in late December 2020, it now accounts for 97% of Peruvian public genomes in April 2021. It is expanding in Chile and Argentina, and there is evidence of onward transmission in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the USA, Germany, and Israel. On June 15, 2021, the World Health Organization designated C.37 as Variant of Interest (VOI) Lambda.
Here we report a novel and highly divergent lineage with 21 characteristic mutations, including 10 non-synonymous, 8 synonymous and 3 mutations in non-coding regions (5’and 3’ UTR and intergenic region).
Four Colombian sequences collected between December 26, 2020 and January 14, 2021with a characteristic mutation pattern, including two amino acid changes in the Spike protein (L249S and E484K) were assigned to the B.1.111 lineage